Tuesday, 15 July 2008

The Green Man, by Kingsley Amis

The Green Man has not been my favourite Kingsley Amis novel, not by any means. It's a slim volume but I found it tough to get through, for various reasons. Maybe it's nothing to do with the book itself, and merely because I've started a new job and have less time on my hands, but I don't think that's the entirety of it.

Something in the books last words opened my eyes towards one of the "positives" of dying. It may well be the only way of escape. Being an atheist, I tend to have a fear of death, but here's a good point-

I found I had begun to understand the meaning of the young man's prophecy that I would come to appreciate death and what it had to offer. Death was my only means of getting away for good from this body and all its pseudo-symptoms of disease and fear, from the constant awareness of this body, from this person, with his ruthlessness and sentimentality and ineffective, insincere, impracticable notions of behaving better, from attending to my own thoughts and from counting in thousands to smother them and from my face in the glass. He had said I would never be free of him as long as the world lasted, and I believed him, but when I died I would be free of Maurice Allington for longer than that.

I put on my dinner jacket, swallowed a strong whisky and went downstairs to being the evening round.